Celebrating Man Power…

…or, as Chad prefers to write it, ‘Man.Power’…

Friday this week will be the 17th anniversary of Chad starting his personal gay/straight-friendly private gym for his carefully selected fitness-freak companions, and Dave and I (amazingly) have been part of it for nearly 13 years. How we ‘qualified’ for this privilege is written here Cover1 Thumb – a combination of our own demonstrable fitness freakery, our love of acrobatics, and some very good connections (Dave’s brother Pete and his partner Ivo were already “in”). It was, and remains, an honour to get the invitation, to pass the initiation challenges (oh yes!) and to get the chance to put the hours in in what has become one of the best gyms ever for free weights, resistance machines, wrestling (all styles including oil and ‘wet’), general endurance (beds of nails and suchlike), with space for those that want it for tumbling, acrobatics, even martial arts…

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It is ‘invitation only’ for two reasons. First because Chad wishes to choose his sporty friends, and second because of its tolerance. No dress code – indeed, more an ‘undress’ code. Who needs clothes when you are sweating it out with your mates? And the majority gay clientele enjoy the views (!) and are offered the opportunity to extend their activities to more personal and intimate things, should they wish to do so. Inspired by a horny wrestling session for example, the possible agreed winner/loser rewards and forfeits can maybe be imagined. But we’re all there to develop and celebrate the male body – even the straights. And long may it continue!

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For the last ten years there has been a Man.Power.2 – initially to offer a space for the developing squad of young acrobats  which the former High School coach Andy set up with our encouragement. Sadly, whilst we toured professionally and he left for pastures new, this group no longer exists, although one or two moved on to the Turkey Creek gym centre where Dave and I are on the coaching roster. Man.Power.2 remains open to all as a sports hall, and several local sports teams use it for circuits and stuff.

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In the main Man.Power, Chad expects – and gets – confidentiality and excellence. He sets standards – 5 grades – and, recently, Dave and I are proud to say we made it to the top. That’s 13 years of sweat and tears (and immense pleasure!) to make that grade.

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So, here’s to lads like us – guys who want the body and the skills it brings and who are willing to commit to whatever it takes to make it happen:
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As “Charles Atlas” (bless him!) used to say in his rather untruthful ads, “You too can have a body like mine”! Well, yeah, if you put in a lot of damn hard work!

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Cover2 ThumbCover 3 ThumbYou – yes, YOU! – can follow in our footsteps if you want. Age is not important (but check with a doc if you’re a wee bit, well, unfit!). If you haven’t exercised in a while, well, you will probably amaze yourself after you give it a whirl – especially if you can find some mate or mates to join in with you. Solitary slogging away is not always fun, although challenging yourself can feel very rewarding.

So, there’s the challenge: ‘You, yes YOU!’

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And, finally, here’s to Chad. We hear there’s to be a Friday (three-line-whip mandated!), meaning lots of physical challenges for all of us which Chad promises to ‘top’, starting in the ‘Iron Maiden’ sandwich of nail beds whilst we all jump on top to toast the success of the gym project. And no doubt plenty of other activity you’de never normally see in a public gym! Can’t wait. Maybe at the weekend we’ll report back.

About tonycavanagh

Born Northampton UK; school Oxford UK and Oak Ridge Tennessee, where I met my wonderful partner Dave, also from UK. Oak Ridge is our main training base for acrobatics and circus stuff, but we also established a base in Wales (UK) to serve us when we are working in Europe. Our 'story', of finding gay love, learning the acrobatics trade and then of how we got shot at during our show (and worse was to follow - just to prove that the risks of being an acrobat are not always the most obvious ones!) are now available in my three books 'Loving the Boy', 'The Power of Love' and 'Against All Odds'. Links available on most blog posts. Actually, waiting for the imminent arrival of the first printed copies was far scarier than anything we do in performance. A fourth book - not about us but exploring the sadness of a gay Native American boy denied his true identity - is currently with an agent for evaluation. watch for 'Let The Future Find Me' in due time. And now to book five... another boy, another quest... seems its always boys...
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